Johnny Depp trial: domestic violence towards men


“Harald Krichel” via Wikipedia

Actor Johnny Depp is in the middle of a huge trial with ex-wife Amber Heard.

Shravani Inampudi, Copy Editor

Johnny Depp is best known as an actor who has starred in many famous films such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Donnie Brasco”. Recently, he has been the center of public attention for his trial with his ex-wife Amber Heard. 

Depp has sued Heard of defamation from the op-ed that she wrote for the Washington Post in 2018. Heard begins her op-ed with accounts of how she was exposed to abuse from a very young age. She also mentions how she was sexually harassed and assulted when she was in college. She continued talking about her experiences into her professional life and states that she risked everything to shed light upon women who have been sexually assualted or harassed. Though this op-ed does not specifically mention Depp, it clearly implies that he abused Heard.

During the trial, both sides accused each other of domestic violence. A key piece of Heard’s narrative is that she had to cover up bruises that she got from Depp’s abuse. Heard’s lawyers held up a makeup kit that Depp supposedly kept with her at all times to cover up all of her bruises. The palette was later identified as the Milani Cosmetics Conceal + Perfect All-in-One Correcting kit. However, this did not add up because Heard filed for divorce from Depp in May of 2016, but the makeup kit was not released until December of 2017.

Junior Kenzie Ruge has been watching the case closely and voiced her opinion on this piece of evidence. “I feel like this evidence just put the public in favor of Johnny Depp’s side even more. Her [Heard’s] lawyers really messed up when they chose that piece of evidence.”

Multiple witnesses who supported Depp were called to testify. Tara Roberts, the manager of Depp’s private island in the Bahamas, was among these witnesses. She recalled that Heard called Depp a “washed-up actor” and said that Depp “was going to die a fat, lonely old man.” Following the verbal insults, Heard caused harm upon Depp by throwing a can at his face. Roberts reported that she saw an injury to the bridge of Depp’s nose and that Heard clawed at Depp when he walked into a cafe later that day. 

Dr. Shannon Curry, a forensic psychologist, was also a witness who was called to testify. Curry interviewed Heard for 12 hours and rigorously reviewed Heard’s mental health records before coming to multiple conclusions. She found that Heard does not have post traumatic stress disorder as a result of her relationship with Depp. Curry also concluded that Heard has borderline personality disorder and histrionic personality disorder.

Ruge feels like this was another very important piece of evidence. “I think that bringing in professionals to prove that Johnny Depp is innocent is really helpful for their case because you can’t argue with their expertise,” she said.

With evidence of this nature, most of the public has taken Depp’s side and heavily sympathized with him during this trial. This brings up the important topic of acknowledging domestic violence against men. According to the CDC, around one in three men are victims of sexual violence, physical violence and/or stalking by a significant other. However, it is likely that the percentage is larger because most men are shunned away from reporting domestic abuse because of societal expectations.

There is a smaller chance that men will be listened to even if they report domestic violence. In this trial, there are a few reasons why the public is taking Depp’s side. One of the main reasons include inconsistencies within Heard’s statements. Another reason is Depp’s fame and his reputation as a beloved actor. He is a family favorite actor all across the country. However, most victims of domestic abuse will not have these advantages, and it is important to acknowledge this.

English Teacher Lynne Lundberg voiced how she believes we should progress as a society. “I think that we have worked pretty hard to get a sense that we can believe women when they make allegations,” she said. “We know that often we can’t prove what’s going on, and we have to trust the people that make allegations for good reasons.” 

In this society, there is a programmed mindset that decides that men can not be victims of domestic violence. The Johnny Depp trial is a present day example of how men are rarely taken seriously when they come out with allegations.